Much of my childhood was spent as an outsider. I remember always being the third wheel in our small church class because the other two girls were cousins. We had few friends who lived near us and my best friend moved in middle school. I can vividly remember being mocked in elementary school because we lived on a farm. I have tried to shed those memories while learning enough to make sure that my children have a community to support them. I don't want them to feel alone.
As we were walking through the village in Guatemala my friend and I were talking about the family receiving a new home,--a single mother with 7 children. She makes a minimal income washing clothes for other village residents. The youngest daughter, Kimberly was so excited that we were visiting them.
The truth is that Kimberly doesn't have friends. She and her siblings don't go to the school--they can't afford uniforms and school supplies. Instead they wash clothes with her mother during the day. They are always dirty and her youngest brother had head lice. None of the other children wanted to play with them.
Having someone want to play with her was new for Kimberly. She was so excited that another child would spend time with her. For once she wasn't an outsider. I hope that those couple days gave her a glimpse of how special she is. She was beautifully made by a God that loves her, even when she is alone.
I hope that these experiences help teach my children that everyone is worthy of being loved. Just because of where we were born, we aren't better than anyone else. If we avoided those who aren't like us, we would truly be missing out on some of the most memorable experiences of our lives.